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“Boundaries Bind Unbinding”: Jazz and Cold War Cosmopolitanism in the Margins of Langston Hughes’s Ask Your Mama
MELUS Pub Date : 2021-03-01 , DOI: 10.1093/melus/mlaa065
Schuster A.

Abstract
While Langston Hughes is typically read as a staunch supporter of solidarity defined by descent, I suggest that his 1961 poem Ask Your Mama pursues a form of sociality that privileges race but is not exclusively determined by it, instead exploring possibilities for cosmopolitan exchange. As the negotiation of alterity and the reexamination of inherited attachments—cultural, racial, or national—cosmopolitanism is a crucial although understudied radical strain of thought in this moment, and one we can hear sounded in Hughes’s jazz poem. Hughes’s column for the Chicago Defender displays traces of a cosmopolitan ethos leading up to the composition of Ask Your Mama, traces that coincide with the transnational values inspired by jazz’s increasingly international circulation. Drawing on the surge in music’s postwar commercial and state-sanctioned circulation, Hughes’s poem becomes a unification of his own impulse to expand affiliations across national and ethno-racial lines and the discourses around jazz and other vernacular music. Ask Your Mama combines generic forms and overlays scales of exchange that exceed any neatly defined geographic origin or cultural category. Analyzing these combinations of poetry and music, I show how networks of alternative meanings are produced that reconfigure relations between geographic distance, community, and identity, the comingling of disparate cultures and national affiliations formalized in the interstices of music and poetic verse. Ultimately, Hughes demonstrates how, amid the overlapping seizures and resignifications of black cultural production at mid-century, jazz music could be reclaimed and repurposed to transform poetry’s structure and rearticulate the boundaries of ethno-racial solidarity.


中文翻译:

“边界解除约束”:兰斯顿·休斯(Langston Hughes)的《请问妈妈》的边缘中的爵士乐和冷战世界主义

摘要
虽然兰斯顿·休斯通常被认为是世系所定义的团结的坚定支持者,但我建议他1961年的诗《问你的妈妈》追求一种特权,但并非由种族决定的社会化形式,而是探索大都会交流的可能性。尽管在这一刻,尽管人们对激进的思想观念进行了深入研究,但对改变的谈判和对文化,种族或民族的继承依恋的重新讨论是至关重要的,我们可以在休斯的爵士诗中听到这种声音。休斯在《芝加哥后卫队》的专栏中显示了国际化精神的痕迹,导致了《问你的妈妈》的构成,与爵士乐日益国际化发行所激发的跨国价值观相吻合的痕迹。借助战后商业和国家认可的音乐热潮,休斯的诗成为了他自己的冲动的统一,以扩大民族和种族种族之间的联系,以及围绕爵士乐和其他本土音乐的论述。问你妈妈结合了通用形式和覆盖范围超过任何明确定义的地理起源或文化类别的交换规模。分析这些诗歌和音乐的组合,我将展示如何产生替代意义的网络,这些网络重新配置地理距离,社区和身份,音乐和诗句的间隙中形式化的不同文化融合和民族联系之间的关系。最终,休斯证明了,在本世纪中叶黑人文化生产的反复发作和表象化中,如何重新利用爵士音乐并改变其用途,以改变诗歌的结构并重新划分种族间的团结边界。
更新日期:2021-04-08
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